People who are affected by trauma - whether it is a one-off event that has happened in their recent past or deep-rooted Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – must be able to access public services in a considerate and empathetic way.
Services must operate according to five pillars of Trauma Informed Care, namely Choice, Collaboration, Empowerment, Safety and Trust, where both those receiving services and those providing them are able to work together and build successful relationships which lead to positive change.
It is the aim of one multi-agency group in East Dunbartonshire to help educate, inform and lead colleagues, partners and others on how best to achieve that.
The East Dunbartonshire ACEs and Trauma Collaborative (EDATC) hosted its first in-person workshop in Kirkintilloch for people working in the Council, elected members, the Health & Social Care Partnership, as well as other public and third sector partners such as Police Scotland and Scottish Fire & Rescue.
Importantly, people with Lived and Living Expertise – or those who have experienced trauma either in their personal lives and/or as a professional – are at the centre of Trauma Informed Practice (TIP). Their voices and views must be included in any discussion relating to TIP and therefore, two peer navigators who work within different services also attended to support the voice of lived and living experience to shine through within the EDATC.
Caroline Sinclair, HSCP Chief Officer said, “The Collaborative works to improve the way services respond, support and provide care for people who have experienced trauma in their lives. By working together and learning more about trauma and its effects on people and how they respond to certain behaviours and situations, we hope to create a trauma informed community in East Dunbartonshire.
“For example, something as straightforward as the colour of the paint in a room, the images mounted on the walls and offering people a choice in how they receive information, can create more empowering experiences. It also helps us build safe environments for people to not only access services for support but also ensure professionals have a trusting working environment to provide those essential frontline services in a collaborative way.
“The aim of our recent workshop was to begin work on a three-year plan for the EDATC by sharing valuable experiences and knowledge from many years of working on the frontline of public services. That plan will contain key priorities and tangible actions to help us all understand trauma better and develop our services through a trauma informed lens.”
Representatives of Scotland’s Improvement Service - the go-to organisation for local government improvement – attended the event and will work with members of the Collaborative on what was learned on the day that will shape a plan and pin-point the priorities that will help achieve its goals.
If you’d like to find out more about the work of the Collaborative, please contact East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trauma Informed Practice Coordinator, Victoria Bannerman on firstname.lastname@example.org